You’ve just finished running on a hot day and you’re hot, tired and thirsty. You could, of course, reach for your favourite sports drink but sometimes we forget there are other alternatives available. Mother Nature has provided us with a wide range of healthy refreshing drinks that can bring your muscle back to life and increase performance. And, maybe the most important thing of all is that they also taste great.
Either before or after doing light exercise for less than an hour.
Green tea is a great source of catechins, these are antioxidants that have been shown to fight against heart disease and cancer, they can reduce the muscular damage caused when you exercise and also accelerate the recovery process.
Leave the teabag in water for at least 3 minutes to release more catechins. If you buy it bottled, try to choose a brand with less than 15g of sugar per 240ml.
Before or after a moderate exercise session of about 1 hour.
Coconut water has none of the fats found in coconut milk and has a slightly nuttier taste. 330ml contain 14g of sugar and 670mg of potassium (a lot more than any other sports drink) and the potassium works together with sodium to maintain the balance of fluids, and help optimise muscle contraction and relaxation. Coconut water has enough carbohydrates to help you run for an hour but if you’re planning on heading out for longer then it’s not enough.
You can drink it on its own or with mango or passion fruit.
After an intense workout.
The drink you always longed for when you were younger has the perfect amount of carbohydrates and proteins that your tired muscles need to recover. Drinking chocolate milk after exercising accelerates the recovery process a lot more than sports drinks, and the milk contains vitamin D and calcium to strengthen your bones.
Individual packs are very practical to put in a cooler for after a run and also help you to control the amount you drink.